movement that opposed the creation of a stronger U.S. federal government and which later opposed the ratification of the Constitution of 1788

Anti-Federalism refers to a diverse group of Americans who opposed the ratification of the 1787 United States Constitution.[1] Anti-Federalists believed a strong central government could become corrupt and tyrannical, as they believed England had become. They wanted a weak central government just as they had with the Articles of Confederation.[2] One of the many points that the Anti-Federalists disagreed with the Federalists was that the Constitution did not have a Bill of Rights.[3] Federalists argued the Constitution did not need a Bill of Rights, but agreed finally to add several amendments to the Constitution.[3] The House of Representatives approved 17 amendments. The Senate passed on 12 of these for ratification by the states.[3] Of the 12, 10 were ratified by the 13 states, becoming known as the United States Bill of Rights.[3] Virginia was the last to ratify the amendments on December 15, 1791.[3]

Under the new government, many Anti-Federalists created the Democratic-Republican Party.


  1. "16b. Antifederalists". US Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  2. "Anti-Federalists". Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Bill Of Rights of The United States of America (1791)". Bill of Rights Institute. Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2016.